Improved Guidance Needed for Estimating Alternatively Financed Project Liabilities

April 18, 2013

What GAO Found

In the event of future base closure, the Department of Defense's (DOD) potential financial liabilities from alternatively financed projects will vary by project type and the language of its legal agreements. According to GAO's analysis of data reported by DOD, it had more than 550 such projects on more than 240 U.S. installations, as of September 30, 2011. 56 percent of these projects have been put in place since the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. Further, according to this analysis and GAO's case study review, liabilities will likely exist for renewable energy and privatized utility projects in the event of base closure because these projects commit the government to making future payments, although the liabilities may be limited by termination for convenience clauses in agreements. In contrast, privatized housing, privatized army lodging, and enhanced use lease projects are generally not expected to create a financial liability if bases close because DOD does not expect to terminate these types of agreements.

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